Archived 2011-2012 topics: Buff-browed Chachalaca (Ortalis superciliaris): downlist to Least Concern?

Initial deadline for comments: 31 January 2012 [note that this has been moved back by about two months].

BirdLife species factsheet for Buff-browed Chachalaca

Buff-browed Chachalaca Ortalis superciliaris inhabits lowland deciduous forest, humid forest edge and scrub thickets in north-eastern Brazil. It is listed as Near Threatened under criterion C2a(i) on the basis that the population was preliminarily estimated to number c.10,000 individuals and suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat loss and fragmentation and heavy exploitation through hunting and capture for trade (del Hoyo et al. 1994); however, there is apparently no information on the species’s sub-population structure.

Recent observations of the species in human-altered habitats such as eucalyptus plantations and young secondary forest (A. Lees in litt. 2011) suggest that it has a high tolerance of habitat degradation and disturbance. It has been suggested that the severe level of deforestation around Paragominas in the state of Pará has probably increased the area of suitable habitat for this species. No evidence was found during three months of fieldwork in this area to suggest it is a regular target for hunters (A. Lees in litt. 2011). Furthermore, this species has a very large range, with an Extent of Occurrence estimated by BirdLife to be c.389,000 km2, indicating that the current population estimate could be a gross underestimate.

It is proposed that the species be downlisted to Least Concern, as it is no longer believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria. Comments are invited on this proposal and further information on its population size is requested.


del Hoyo, J. (1994) Family Cracidae (chachalacas, guans and curassows). Pp. 310-363 in del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J., eds. Handbook of birds of the world, vol 2: New World vultures to guineafowl. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

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2 Responses to Archived 2011-2012 topics: Buff-browed Chachalaca (Ortalis superciliaris): downlist to Least Concern?

  1. This a fairly common species, and show tolerance to human-disturbed habitats. Recently it was found in 4 of 9 localities in Belem Endemism Center (see Portes et al. 2011, Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 19 [2]: 167-184) and at least in Tailândia (Agropalma Reserve) it is very common, using secondary forest and Palm oil plantations. This species has a quite large distribution and due its small size it is not sought by the poachers. Buff-browed Chachalaca is not kept in captivity, being found only in a few very specialized breeding centers in Brazil. I suggest that this species can be considered as “least concern”.

  2. Tulio Dornas says:

    Registros de bandos (de 5 a 7 indivíduos) da espécie foram realizados no norte do estado do Tocantins ao longo de matas de galerias de afluentes dos rios Araguaia e Tocantins cujos níveis de antropização eram relativamente altos: corte seletivo de árvores e matriz adjacente formada por pastagens. Proprietários de granjas da região mencionaram que a presença da espécie forrageando próximos aos galpões de criação de galinhas é bastante frequente, sempre em dezenas de indivíduos. Moradores locais e ribeirinhos não mencionam a espécie como alvo de caça, sendo abatida ocasionalmente.

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